It's official. Today is the first day after Labour Day, which for many means the first day back to school. While many new parents struggle with the idea of their child venturing out into the world alone, many celebrate the return to peace and quiet. But for us, the beginning of anew school year leaves us with a feeling of dread.
For us, a lack of planning all too often leads to meltdowns and anxiety in our son. And at our sons school, lack of planning is evident right from the beginning. First thing this morning, all 500+ students will be ushered into the gym and a roll call will be done to determine which student goes with which teacher. I know what you're thinking, why doesn't the school tell us in advance? Well, they just never have.
So I invite everyone to picture what a gym full of students on their first day looks like. All the screaming, yelling and boisterous play is enough to make any child with an ASD have a meltdown. Naturally when all the class registers get filled, they start with the lowest grades first. And since my son is going into grade 4, it means an extra 30 minutes of anger.
Then there's the question of who my sons EAs are going to be. Even this isn't disclosed until the first day. So there's plenty of room for anxiety even before school begins. Because when my son, who rarely shows an interest in school, asks mom and dad questions like "Who's my teacher this year?" Or "Are my EAs going to be the same?" And even "What friends are going to be in my class?" We simply have no answer to give.
So we've come up with a simple equation to follow.
First day back + no idea who the teachers, EAs or students are + a big gathering in the gym =
Keeping Jacob home on the first day. I know starting the school year with an absence seems drastic, but in the big scheme of things, does it even matter? This way we can just all into the school and find out all the necessary information before sending him. This way we can at least try to start the year on a more positive note. And hopefully make our son happy about getting back to the daily grind.
WELCOME TO JIM'S AUTISM BLOG
Hi everyone and thanks for visiting our blog. My wife and I created this blog to chronicle our experience while raising a son with Asperger's syndrome. Since our son was diagnosed with an ASD at age 5, we've had a lot of questions. Lucky for us we have a great support network in place. And our blog gives us an opportunity to share what we've learned with our readers. We hope you find our blog informative and interesting. Thanks again for visiting.
"It seems that for success in science and art, a dash of autism is essential." Dr Hans Asperger 1906-1980